National | Politics

Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux president replies to complaints

The following story was written and reported by Karin Eagle, Native Sun News Staff Writer All content © Native Sun News.

Oglala Sioux Tribe President Bryan Brewer. Photo by Ardis McRae / Native Sun News

Brewer defends himself against complaints
By Karin Eagle
Native Sun News Staff Writer

PINE RIDGE — Suspended Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) President Bryan Brewer responded to the two complaints levied against him. The response comes just days before the hearing scheduled to decide for or against his impeachment.

Regarding complaint one, filed against Brewer by Caroline Bettleyoun, calling specifically for the impeachment of Brewer, Brewer cites the OST Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual where personnel matters are appealed to the Tribal Court rather than the Tribal Council.

“The council should dismiss this complaint as an attempt to subvert the Separation of Powers,” says Brewer in his response.”The complainant needs to file an appeal of personnel issues with the Tribal court.”

Brewer is filing a Motion to Dismiss.

In the second complaint, filed by the OST Finance Committee, which calls for sanctions “up to and including removal from office,” Brewer addresses each of the three counts separately.

On the first count, concerning Tribal Economic Development (TED) Bonds, Brewer states that “This count reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of economic development and specifically the process for Tribal Economic Development (TED) bonds”

“The Finance Committee approved researching TED Bonds for the Tribe,” explains Brewer, “The Administration took the required steps with the IRS to research TED Bonds and see if the tribe was eligible.”

“An ‘allocation’ was received,” said Brewer,” but only the Council has the authority to obligate the Tribe for a bond. No such steps were ever taken. There was no contract. No tribal money was ever spent. The tribe was never obligated to anything.”

As to the second count, concerning a $5,000 check that the Finance Committee, represented by Irv Provost, Pine Ridge Village representative, Brewer claims an accidental misplacement of the check, which has since been recovered and restored to the tribe.

“A donation check made out to the ‘Oglala Sioux Tribe’ was received at LNI in December on behalf of the tribe, “explains Brewer. “Unfortunately the check was misplaced. The check was found with trash and brought to the President’s office by Rhonda Two Eagle, Secretary of the OST.”

According to the written response, when Two Eagle brought in the check, Brewer apparently teasingly asked if he could deposit it. He then turned to his personal assistant and had her take it to the appropriate channels.

“At no time was the check ever endorsed or was any attempt made to deposit it,” asserts Brewer, “In fact, the check is made out to the “Oglala Sioux Tribe” and cannot be cashed by anyone other than the Tribe. The check has been cancelled and a new replacement check has been ordered by the Office of Revenue.”

As to the third count of the complaint by the Finance Committee, concerning the Prairie Wind Casino General Manager’s Contract, Brewer maintains that he acted in good faith on the authority of the Finance Committee itself.

“Council negotiated the casino General Manager’s contract,” states Brewer in his written response,” The Tribal Council approved it.” Following the council’s approval, Brewer signed the contract, after which an amendment to the contract was approved by the Finance Committee to include health care benefits which the Finance Committee stated was an “over sight “according to Brewer’s response.

Brewer signed the amended contract. The following week the full Council voted against the amended contract.

Native Sun News will provide full coverage of Brewer’s hearing on July 17.

(Contact Karin Eagle at

Copyright permission Native Sun News